Proton is a very new entrant in the world of car manufacturing. The strategy right from the beginning has been to pursue a very unique niche in the market.
Proton started by buying off old models of successful cars and selling them at very low prices. The first Proton was based on technology and parts from Mitsubishi Motors.
The results were predictable, and this car manufacturer has managed to quickly grab a huge chunk of the budget market within a short time after their inception in 1985.
Proton is Malaysian and as recently as the late 1990s still had the Malaysian coat of arms within its’ logo. The new logo is based on a Tiger.
The Proton Saga (the very first model from the company to hit Malaysian roads) was much cheaper than any other car in the market and coupled with the fact that it was sold by appealing to the patriotism in Malaysian people, it sold very rapidly.
And literally overnight, the car had grabbed 73 per cent of the passenger car market. But it is not only Malaysians who enjoyed the low prices. The truth is that Protons remain a very good buy anywhere in the world, including in Australia.
After basing their first designs on the Lancer/Colt and Galant/Eterna from Mitsubishi, in 2001 Proton built their first car, completely designed and created by its’ own people.
It was called the Proton Waja/Impian. What also helped was the decision to purchase Lotus Technologies in 1996. This was an inspired move because the Proton has gained tremendously from this partnership.